Today’s ‘Half-Baked Nationalism’ Reminds McCain Of The 1930s

Sen. John McCain is expressing concern that Americans are embracing the sort of avid nationalism that was common 80 years ago.

Time reported that the Arizona Republican warned reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday about “an environment here of ... a reversion of the attitude to the ‘30s, which was one of the major reasons we fought World War II.”

According to The Associated Press, McCain did not blame President Trump. He also did not mention the president’s name during a speech on Monday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where he got an award for lifetime service and sacrifice to the country. However, the six-term senator criticized the “America first” point of view that Trump often espouses.

“To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said. “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.”

Referring to former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, who also spoke at the event, McCain recalled: “We often argued, sometimes passionately, but we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in.” Some people interpreted the comment as criticism of Trump’s confrontational style. On Tuesday, a WMAL interviewer asked the president for a response. “People have to be careful because at some point I fight back,” he cautioned. “I’m being very nice, but at some point I’ll fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

Trump has frequently slammed the senator, perhaps most famously when he proclaimed that McCain was “not a war hero” despite the years he spent as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Trump, who was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination at the time, suggested that true war heros do not “get caught” by the enemy. The statement angered many former POWs and their supporters.

McCain went into the U.S. Navy in 1958 and continued serving for 22 years as a pilot, eventually becoming a captain. While flying over Hanoi during the Vietnam War in 1967, hostile forces shot down his bomber aircraft and held him captive for nearly six years. McCain suffered torture that left him with permanent injuries.

Earlier this year, doctors diagnosed the senator with an aggressive type of brain cancer. He revealed in a recent “60 Minutes” interview on CBS that his illness is “very, very serious …  a very poor prognosis.” McCain said that when he got the news, he told himself: “I understand. Now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find and do the best we can; and at the same time, celebrate with gratitude a life well lived.”

Just 11 days after undergoing brain surgery, the senator flew to Washington, D.C., to vote on Republican-sponsored legislation that would have replaced Obamacare. He opposed the bill, which narrowly failed.

Source: Time
Photo: YouTube

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